5 Best Artificial Intelligence Movies
Science-fiction movies are becoming a dime-a-dozen. For sci-fi fans (nerds?), this could be perceived as a good…or a bad thing. With saturation comes the potential for over-saturation, and with over-saturation comes a decrease in quality.
Ask rom-coms…ask zombie movies…ask any genre really.
Science-fiction movies are getting so big, they’ve inadvertently spawned sub-genres. One such sub-genre is Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) movies. With the premiere of Wally Pfister’s Transcendence this coming weekend, I thought I’d recount what I consider to be the best A.I. movies to date (that I’ve seen). As an aside, I consider A.I. movies to be ones that revolve around non-human characters (like robots, androids, and etc.) that have some form of human intelligence.
As you can imagine, there were a lot to consider. If I had to choose five, they’d be as follows (continue to the bottom to find honorable mentions):
As far as robots (or A.I.s) go, is there a character that comes to mind quicker than The Terminator (famously portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger)? I didn’t think so. Starting in 1984, the Terminator franchise dominated pop culture for a few reasons – only one of them being the famous “I’ll be back” line. While I don’t appreciate the franchise quite as much as some of the hardcore fans, I can still appreciate The Terminator’s presence and all that it entailed.
I will admit, I hadn’t seen Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner until about two months ago. But better late than never, right? Like the Terminator movies, I’m not quite as high on this movie as sci-fi fans, but I can still compliment the film on how it uses “replicates.” In ways, it portrays the idea of A.I. perfectly. It’s Harrison Ford’s character that really makes the movie worth watching, though. In short, it’s worth checking out before you head into Transcendence this weekend!
Pixar’s Wall-E probably isn’t one of the first movies that comes to mind when you think of A.I.s; however, after further thought, I realized it fits perfectly into the genre! Wall-E may be Pixar’s most thematically-rich film (and somehow doesn’t touch my top 3 Pixar movies), and part of its richness comes from the A.I. aspect. In a dystopian world, it is up to robots to clean the world of the disgusting mess humans have created. However, things don’t go according to plan, and the result is both a sweet and cautionary tale for the future. Seriously…Wall-E is practically flawless.
A more traditional (especially compared to Wall-E) look into A.I. comes by the way of the sprawling Alien franchise. The whole franchise is probably more respectable than individual movies (Alien 3 and Prometheus being the weaker installments), but their use of androids are probably the most surprising (at least in the original Alien film) of the bunch. It also helps that, across the board, their A.I.s are the best-acted on this list.
2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic for an array of reasons. Apart from the stunning cinematography and special effects (especially given the fact the movie was made in 1968), the movie utilizes a centralized A.I. figure that is, in some ways, haunting. There is a reason HAL 9000 (the sentient computer) was the inspiration for a computer program I used to use at a previous job. It is powerful and, in the movie, the perfect example of how technology can be both a great thing and a truly terrifying thing.
As for honorable mentions, I considered: I, Robot, The Matrix franchise, Moon (which I don’t really consider A.I.) The Star Wars franchise (which I felt didn’t used A.I. primarily), and Total Recall. Any others I should consider? Chime in below.
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